Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Past Tense is Too Hard, Present Tense Doesn't FIt

It's hard to write about my mother.  I noticed in yesterday's post, Singing, that I referred to my mother in the past tense, not just the memories of my childhood, but her.  It hurt my heart.  I struggled to choose the right wording because my mother is alive and still with us, but she is not the same.

My mother survived brain cancer.  She made a decision, shortly after her diagnosis, that she would live to meet her first grandson, with whom I was pregnant at the time of her diagnosis.  She has since met her grandson, two granddaughters, a step-grandson and two step-granddaughters.  This Sunday she will join us to celebrate my son's 13th birthday.  Every day we remember what we faced losing all those years ago.

But, my mom is different now.  Her cancer treatment has changed her. While I am grateful every day that I can stop by my parents' house and say hello, I miss the days when I could call her up to ask her advice about a struggling student, or the challenges of keeping up with the rapid-fire educational initiatives that fill a teachers' plate these days, or the trials of motherhood.  It's just not the same.  I'm okay with that because I am fortunate to still have my mother with me.  I just don't know how to write about her.


  1. I lost my father in August, but he'd been suffering from dementia for years. Fortunately, he got funny. He was able to laugh at himself, but he wasn't himself. It was heartbreaking to see him decline over time. Thanks for sharing something difficult.

  2. You would not think that someone could lose their personality due to brain cancer, but a friend of mine who was so lively, and fun, joking ALL the time, became a much different person after her surgery. I guess we really have to mourn the loss of the first person, and embrace the second person as a new friend. I cannot imagine if this had been the cancer that took my mom. She remained the same person up to the last second.
    I can understand how you would talk about her in the past tense, since she isn't really still here in the same capacity as before. My heart goes out to you. It's a difficult transition, but you are blessed to know a "second mom" that wouldn't have been here. She must still be the same fighter inside, though!

  3. It is just plain hard.....my heart aches for your loss, however I do know how much you cherish your mother-always have. She has been reinvented. It is just different. Big hugs. Big hugs. You are writing so authentically about your life!! Bravo.